Let’s think for a minute about our fellow humans that will be thrust alongside us into the despair of a catastrophic event. Every human on Earth is equipped with an evolution-based drive to stay alive; beyond that, survival boils down to a perceived need, forethought, and maybe a pinch of neurosis. In a perfect doomsday scenario, we would take a collective approach to the welfare of our fellow humans, sharing responsibilities and pooling resources (including medications) for the greater good. But unfortunately (much to the dismay of Karl Marx), people aren’t equal in their efforts or in their production. There are many different types of people that you will meet in the apocalypse, and some will make much better companions, teammates, or allies than others. This isn’t a critique of humanity, but simply a reality to acknowledge. When a global meltdown ensues, the lines will be drawn in the sand.
Here are the 3 types of people that will emerge in the apocalypse:
Type 1: The “Prepper”
Survivalists come in many forms, depending on the circumstances in which they foresee the need for preparedness. First there are the “preppers,” who have dedicated their lives to preparing for a global disaster, digging bomb shelters in their backyards, waiting for the inevitable collapse of civilization. Preppers have created a hobby out of planning for the unexpected, and in doing so have made survival the ultimate end-game. Their efforts may seem exaggerated, but they’ll be in their bunker watching Blu-ray movies while you’re roasting squirrels and rummaging through the desolate abyss. They’ve mentally rehearsed the most unlikely scenarios and prepared for them, ready (some even waiting in anticipation) for the day they can showcase their hard efforts. In other words, make friends with a prepper whenever you can. Maybe join a prepper Facebook group in your area. They are by far the most equipped types of people in an apocalyptic crisis. Even if it’s that weird person down the street who drives the camouflage Hummer with the “Zombie Assault Vehicle” sticker on the bumper, consider reaching out. You’ll be grateful for the alliance when he or she comes pealing down the street in their bug out vehicle in order to rescue you in a time of utter chaos.
Type 2: The “Boy Scout”
Many people, though, are what you would call “Boy Scouts.” Their apocalyptic planning isn’t as involved as a prepper’s, but they still stock emergency candles and carry jumper cables. The Boy Scouts of America’s motto is “Be prepared,” but this credo falls short for the average Joe who’s forced into uncharted waters. See, these individuals haven’t really honed their survival instincts, not because of ignorance, but because they rarely get the chance to consider them, let alone utilize them. Of course, there was that one time at the company picnic when the girl in accounting broke her arm playing in the big volleyball game. The Boy Scout fashioned a temporary splint and sling out of party streamers and a wiffle bat before taking her to the hospital. Then again, the Boy Scout also forgot lighter fluid during the last camping trip and everyone had to eat uncooked hot dogs for dinner. Contemporary creature comforts have allowed the Boy Scout to let their guard down. It’s not that they aren’t thinking about where the nearest fire extinguisher is or don’t know how to use a compass; it’s just that modern living has curbed the use of such skills. The key attributes that come with being a Boy Scout are humbleness about their own abilities and respect for the potential challenges of staying alive. Placed in an adverse situation, the Boy Scout may stumble at first, but they will quickly answer the call of the wild once the flame of their primal instincts has been fanned. Until then, they will carry on with their normal life, aware of potential danger, yet slow to respond.
Type 3: The “Sheep”
Finally, there’s the small percentage of individuals who are extremely susceptible to any disturbances in their regular life whatsoever. Let’s call them the “sheep.” Not only are they unprepared for any challenge beyond a McDonald’s drive-thru, but the idea of planning for an unfathomable event seems completely ridiculous to them. Of all the types of people in the apocalypse, sheep could be considered the most cumbersome. They typically find themselves on the rooftop during floods or on the evening news after the tornado touches down on their house. The only outdoor experience they have was when they waited all night in front of an Apple store for the new iPhone. Self-sufficiency is as foreign to them as the location of the spare tire for their Prius (not that Toyota Prius owners are more susceptible to a crisis; on the contrary, they would fare quite well in an oil embargo). “What’s the big deal?” they ask. “If the power goes out then I’ll just stay in a hotel for a few days.” It’s amazing that sheep survive in the prospering twenty-first century, let alone a potential doomsday scenario. Unfortunately, the driving forces of evolution and natural selection are real. And in the face of changing environments and dynamic conditions, sheep are at a serious disadvantage. The theory of competitive exclusion says, “Adapt or die,” which is the cornerstone of the survivalist movement. Needless to say, sheep will be in dire straits when danger shows up on their doorstep. It would be easy to turn a blind eye to these individuals and set aside our morals to secure our own existence. We owe it to ourselves, though, to help sheep whenever it is feasible and the situation allows. Think of the barista who gives you a free extra shot of espresso in your drink; it’s the least you can do for them.